Newbies can get carried away with plugins, if they’re not careful. The more plugins you use, the slower your site functions. But there are some things that help your visitors have a good experience while on your domain.
You want to use Akismet to help stop spam. No blogger wants to be dealing with the amount of spam that comes in automatically to their site. This filters out most of it.
Install Contact Form 7. This will be used for your Contact page and it’s a free plugin. Instead of just putting your email address live on your Contact page (which helps spammers scrape and use your email address), use this form. They will need to fill in their name, email address and leave a message for you. This gets sent directly to your inbox.
Greg’s Threaded Comment Numbering is a good plugin that’s free to use. It helps your visitors communicate with one another on your blog and helps you build a community. If Mary wants to respond to Jack, she can – and then Jack can respond to her comment. It helps people see the flow of conversation better.
WP Socializer is a good plugin that’s free for social sharing buttons, but you can pick any you prefer. Basically, you want to make sure it has all of the hot social sites, including:
- Google Plus
You can have others, but those are the big ones. For increased sharing, traffic and profits, make sure you place the buttons above and below the content, and possibly hovering as they scroll on the side. When people can share content, it helps you make more sales.
There’s a good plugin that you can use to help you build a list and promote products. It’s called Covert Messenger. You can get the lite or Pro version, and this is a discreet, non-intrusive popup that gently appears in the lower right side of your screen.
It doesn’t block the reader from seeing the content they’re looking at, so they never get frustrated and have to exit out of it. But it does catch their attention from the corner of their eye.
Here, you can promote products you created, products you’re an affiliate for, tout your opt in freebie, etc. The Pro version has more options, but if you’re new, you might want to start with the lite one and upgrade later.
You’re going to get bombarded by plugin offers over the years. There are plugins that do just about everything under the sun. Resist the urge to automate everything on your site.
Some automation is good, but overdoing it erases you (the human element) from the site, and you won’t be able to build that bond with your readers. Look for the best plugins to help with whatever task drags you down most.
For example, if you’re running an Amazon review blog, there will be plugins to help you quickly and easily create links to products. The faster you can do this, the more time you’ll have to write more reviews and increase your commissions.
In part 4 we will look at widgets…